Hourly ebb and flow of cases in England's hospital emergency departments
NHS ED attenders by hour and day of week
19 October 2015
This is a report on NHS Emergency Department attendances.
The question is this: How does the hourly attendance figures vary by hour and day of week?
The health and Social care Information centre publishes lots of data in various formats. Data on ED attendance by hour and day of week (aggregate for all hospitals with an A&E Unit in England) for the years 2011-12 and 2012-13 were downloaded from the HSCIC website.
The weekly pattern
Using R’s base plotting 2011-12 data
Using GGplot2 with faceting
There is a clear ebb and flow pattern in the hourly number of cases that are seen in Accident and Emergency Departments in England. regardless of week day or weekend the peak hourly attendance occurs at around 10 or 11 am, with the trough in the early hours of the morning between 4 and 6 am.
Whether or not this fluctuating pattern is justified by clinical need is another question.